David Glenn takes a very early look ahead to ACC basketball in the 2007-08 season on his WRAL Blog.
Here’s his projected rankings -
1. North Carolina
If Wright is the only underclassman who leaves this summer, the Tar Heels will be the ACC favorite and a preseason top-five pick nationally in 2007-08.
2. Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets’ biggest challenge is to get tougher, mentally and physically, and to become a better defensive team.
It may be an unconventional lineup in 2007-08, with lots of productive perimeter players but very little presence in the post, but the Devils’ overall talent level clearly remains among the best in the conference.
4. NC State
Considering the talent â€” and, for a change, some quality depth â€” available at other positions, State will compete for the ACC title.
The good news for the Cavaliers is that they continue to develop a strong defense/rebounding mentality that hasn’t been seen in Charlottesville for many years.
Hayes and Vasquez gained valuable experience as rookies, Gist will be one of the top returning post players in the conference, Osby is a nice complementary/effort guy around the basket, and several newcomers should be able to help in support roles.
If several others â€” from among the returnees and/or the incoming class â€” can make significant improvements in their games over the summer, this team will be difficult to beat.
8. Florida State
Will the pieces of the puzzle fit together? That seems to be a question in Tallahassee every year.
9. Wake Forest
Lingering concerns include turnovers, defense and rebounding.
10. Boston College
The Eagles’ projected starting lineup next year actually has some potential, and Rice is a proven star, but several freshmen must be ready to help right away.
11. Virginia Tech
One of the best recruiting classes in school history â€” that’s relatively speaking, remember, not by Duke or UNC standards â€” should help a lot, but literally every man on the roster will be adjusting to a new role.
The Hurricanes likely will be better in 2007-08, but they live in a very tough (ACC) neighborhood.